Last Friday a bottle of Drambuie 15 landed on my desk. Hmmm, Drambuie. I don’t think I’m alone in associating the liqueur with the older generation; it sits firmly in my head on the same shelf as dusty bottles of sweet sherry, Advocaat, and unidentifiable bottles of lurid alcoholic concoctions destined to be thrust upon guests but once a year. Anyway, I’m not one to turn my nose up at free booze, and my preconceptions are probably a little harsh considering I’ve yet to taste the drink. If in doubt, proposition Twitter. So I did, requesting it’s best use; most responses suggested the classic rusty nail, but that didn’t really appeal, pairing as it does whisky liqueur with whisky sounding a little full on for this beginner whisky drinker. A couple of more appealing alternatives were thrown up by The Gin Blog and Almost Famous that had me teetering on the edge, but in the end I played it safe and added a shot of the liqueur to a Monkey Shoulder whisky sour to add a little oomph to the aperitif. The liqueur neat, is a honeyed version of a whisky, rich and made from a blend of 15 year old Speyside malts, it’s a more grown up version of the original Drambuie whilst retaining the original ‘secret elixir’ of herbs and spices.
No. By this point I had other plans for my new ingredient. Can you guess? Can you?
Yeah, you probably did….DOUGHNUTS. I’d been planning on making a candied bacon version with a bourbon cream filling for a while, and at first sip I knew this would a perfect alternative for the recipe. Whipped into double cream it makes a deliciously boozy but not too sweet filling to contrast with the external dough studded with little nuggets of sweet and sticky candied bacon. I replaced a little of the white flour for wholegrain spelt, and the white sugar for light muscovado to push the rich, caramelised notes of the other ingredients. In hindsight a maple syrup glaze might finish these off nicely, but they’re equally good without, and excellent to nibble with a tipple.
This recipe is adapted from the doughnut recipe in Dan Lepard’s Short and Sweet except I make 12 smaller doughnuts rather than 6 full size ones.
I replaced 75g of the strong white flour with wholgrain spelt flour and all the caster sugar for light muscovado.
For the candied bacon:
Sprinkle streaky bacon rashers (I used about a rasher per doughnut) with a good layer of more of the light muscovado sugar and bake (or grill, but my grill’s broken) on a high heat until crispy and shiny, being careful not to let it burn; this should take about 10 minutes.
When the bacon is cool, chop into tiny pieces and work into your dough at your second stage of light kneading.
For the cream filling:
Whip double cream with a couple of teaspoons of Drambuie 15 and a couple of teaspoons of icing sugar until thick.
Spoon cream into a baking syringe and fill doughnuts once they’re cooked. If that’s too fiddly or you don’t have a syringe, they’re equally good just dipped into the boozy cream.